Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum believes Jeff Horn stands a genuine chance of upsetting Terence Crawford after he set up a blockbuster fight with the unbeaten American in Las Vegas next year.
Horn retained his WBO welterweight championship with an 11th-round stoppage in his voluntary defence against feisty Englishman Gary Corcoran on Wednesday night in Brisbane.
It was a willing battle but Corcoran's corner threw in the towel as Horn zeroed in on a deep cut near the challenger's left eye halfway through the penultimate round.
It cements Horn's position among boxing's elite and means he will now go toe-to-toe with Crawford, arguably the world's top pound-for-pound boxer and the mandatory challenger to his WBO belt.
The victor was Horn's first since capturing the title back in July, before a crowd of 51,000 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. He won a shocking twelve round unanimous decision over massive favorite Manny Pacquiao in gruelling, bloody bout. A rematch was on deck for last month, but fell apart over scheduling conflicts with Pacquiao's duties as a senator in the Phillipines.
Arum's Top Rank promotions have already booked the largest venue in Las Vegas, the T-Mobile Arena, for a date in April and Arum hinted an announcement would be imminent.
Crawford, 30, has moved up to the welterweight division after unifying the four light welterweight titles.
But it represents a climb of nearly twelve pounds in the space three years for the Nebraska native, who fought at lightweight as recently as 2014 and that, according to Arum, presents Horn with a sliver of an opportunity.
"Terence Crawford is one of the best fighters around," Arum said.
"(But) anybody that says that because of Terence's skill set that Jeff doesn't have a chance is crazy.
"This is going to be a very, very competitive fight. As far as skill is concerned, I would favour Crawford.
"But as far as strength and size are concerned, you have to go with Jeff."